There was a time when, if someone I knew well, told me something, I would accept it on face value. I had no reason to believe it was not true, or at least accurate. There was no reason for this person to tell me something that they themselves, did not believe.
However, over the last few years, I have become skeptical of the”facts” that made me think “what”? And, when tested, they frequently turned out to be an opinion gleaned from whatever channel they watched.
I’m not talking politics here. We all know how polarized any discussion about that is. I’m talking about how much trust you place in anything, spoken or read, regardless of who said or wrote it. Although I have found myself becoming more cynical over time, I have concluded it is not bad thing. It is, in fact, at least for me, a self induced security measure, helping me sift through things like all the science we were told supported the Covid19 conclusions made by the most learned among us. It also protects me from things like Facebook, but that is an enigma unto itself.
In today’s world, where fact checking has become a profession, and checking the fact checkers has become a necessity, it appears that the definition of ‘fact’ is “anything heard, seen, or read that agrees with our paradigms, without regard for verification”. If we want to believe it, it becomes a fact, at least to us. The next guy may not reach the same conclusions, therefore, turning certainties into tentatives. Opinions are often elevated to fact status because of an agenda. Stories are even manufactured for the express purpose of spinning them as fact to achieve a desired end.
I think personal responsibility has died an early death, or at least is in critical condition. We have become at best “an unidentified source”. It’s OK to say whatever, or write whatever because there is no downside. No one is going to penalize you for espousing here say as fact. Oh, they may criticize you in the media, but more often then not, the criticism is faceless. Anyone can say whatever they want because no one knows who ‘they’ are. Technology provides an excellent disguise. And mostly, any criticism takes the shape of a different fact, and the cycle begins anew.
So I guess I will just sit here, being my cynical self, fact checking, or more probably ignoring a lot of what passes before me. I will pick and choose what I want to believe and they will no doubt become my facts. Just as all the above is. Just as anything I write is. You can save yourself the trouble of verification. Everything has been fully analyzed and is 100% fact. Trust me.